At the intersection of San Francisco’s SOMA, Potrero Hill and Showplace Square districts, a first-of-its-kind building offers an example of the potential widespread success of mass timber construction in the United States. 1 De Haro, a 134,000-square-foot, 4-story office and light industrial project built by Bay Area developer SKS Partners is not only the first cross-laminated timber (CLT) building in the San Francisco, it is also the first multistory mass timber building of its type to be fully executed in California and the first CLT project in the United States to be delivered via railways. We recently sat down with Yvonne Fisher and Lee Ishida of SKS to discuss the unique design process, marketing success and overall industry buzz surrounding one of their latest projects.
Empty office buildings downtown. A housing shortage in almost every major market. Is there a way to address both issues at once by converting historic but underutilized office buildings into apartments and condos in city centers? It’s an idea that has been discussed, and in some cities, implemented in recent years. But while the idea seems simple enough—repurpose existing office space for residential and mixed-use projects—there are some real challenges limiting the feasibility of large-scale office to residential conversion.
Early pandemic fears that brick-and-mortar retail would not live to see the next decade look to be largely unfounded. Shopping centers remain a sound investment for private firms and large institutional investors alike, as evidenced by new numbers suggesting that retail acquisition surged to nearly $82 billion last year, a figure up 24% from the pre-pandemic levels of 2019. This revitalization has continued into this year, with first-quarter transaction volume hitting $25 billion, reflecting an 82% increase from the same period in 2021. In the second quarter of this year, more than 900 shopping centers sold nationwide—a total of $16.6 billion alone for in-person retail. Retail vacancies are the lowest they’ve been in at least 15 years, and current rent averages are up 16% than the rental rates of five years ago.